PROPOSED retirement apartments in Didcot could free-up 58 family homes, say developer.

Churchill Retirement Living, of Hampshire, have applied to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, to build 29 apartments on the former Georgetown filling station on the corner of Foxhall Road and Broadway.

The 0.2 hectare site, where the former Shell station was demolished in 2018, has been proposed for a 3-storey “L-shaped” building with an internal courtyard.

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Herald Series: (Churchill retirement living)(Churchill retirement living)

However residents are concerned the proposal is “over-development” and “not needed” as Didcot already has provisions for older people.

Developers have responded to concerns saying there is a “strong demand” for specialist housing and the proposed development would free-up about 58 family homes for younger people.

A spokesman for Churchill Retirement Living said: “Churchill Retirement Living hopes to regenerate the site of the long-term vacant former petrol station on Foxhall Road to create 29 new apartments.

“They will be for over sixties who want to carry on living independently as they get older but with the safety, support and social life that comes with living in a retirement living community.

Herald Series: (Google maps)(Google maps)

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“The development we are proposing will not be a care home. Twenty-four per cent of the current South Oxfordshire population are aged over 60.

“This is expected to increase so that 34 per cent of the local population are aged 65 and over by 2043.

“Clearly there is a strong demand for specialist housing of all types to meet the changing needs of this ageing population over the coming years.”

He adds that independent research shows that specially designed housing for older people, with the “safety and support services it offers”, generates an average health and social care saving of £3,500 per person per year.

“The development we are proposing would therefore help to generate over £140,000 of health and social care savings each year,” he said.

Herald Series: (Churchill retirement living)(Churchill retirement living)

The spokesman also suggested the apartments are expected to release “around 58 larger, second-hand properties” back onto the market.

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He said: “Many of which will be suitable for growing families in the area. As well as enabling many older people to give up their cars and live independently near the heart of town, it would support around 50 new jobs both during and after its construction.

“It would also bring around £1.3 million of extra spending to the local high street. We will continue to work positively with local stakeholders and the planning authorities to progress our plans.”

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, is due to make a decision by Friday, June 14.


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